With the recent drop in hydro lake levels across the South Island, wholesale (spot) electricity customers have noticed electricity rates increasing since May. Those who are on traditional fixed rate electricity tariffs will most likely not notice any increases in the near future; however, for those who are on spot tariffs, increases are predicted to continue throughout the winter.
Critical Lake Levels are Not Anticipated
60 percent of New Zealand’s electricity is made up of hydro-generated energy. However, similar low-level conditions seen in 2003 that warranted a national electricity conservation campaign are still a long way off. Barring major unexpected equipment failures, there is less than a 2% risk of experiencing critically low lake levels.
Reducing Your Electricity Costs
Consumers on spot tariffs are advised to keep an eye on their provider’s prices and watch for price spikes. Flick Electric, one spot tariff provider, has a mobile app that allows users to receive warning notifications when prices increase. To help reduce the electricity rate increase, it’s best to get into the habit of shifting some of your electricity usage to off-peak times.
Taking Advantage of Off-Peak Rates
Are you a spot tariff consumer who is worried about your hydro bill skyrocketing this winter, or are you a fixed rate user looking to reduce costs? Follow the tips below to help keep your hydro bill manageable:
- Use the dishwasher throughout the night, rather than right after dinner
- Turn on your clothes dryer during the day, or overnight
- Use draught stoppers and tighten hinges, latches and hatches to eliminate heat loss
- If you don’t have central heating, use a heater directly in the room you want to heat and keep the door closed
- Install energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures, such as shower heads
- Ensure you have proper insulation throughout your home
Completely Eliminate the Worry of an Electricity Increase
Spot tariffs eliminate the buffer between your bill and the wholesale price of power, which changes every half hour. Although this type of pricing system can offer long-term savings, consumers need to be okay with weathering periods of higher than average prices.
Consumers who do not want to risk further price increases should consider switching to a traditional, fixed rate or smooth-pay plan.
Let Switchme Save YOU Money!
Has your electricity rate increased sharply, due to the low lake levels? If so, let Switchme help you compare power prices to see if something more reasonable is available! Contact us today for more details and to use our free comparison calculator.